What is Yoga anyway?
The yoga world has exploded in the past 20 years, which is awesome! But along with that explosion, there is also much confusion. With words like, vinyasa, hatha, ashtanga, anusara, bikram, and many others, how are you supposed to have a clue as to what the hell it all means??? And those are just class titles you might see when looking at a schedule. If you muster up the courage to get yourself into a class, you are hit with words like pranayama, mudra, mantra, savasana, drishti, etc. And it seems as if everyone is a part of this big yoga club and you don't know any of their secret passwords! It makes you feel like you are not a part of it all, and maybe even less than. And this is EXACTLY the opposite of what yoga REALLY is!
“The yoga world can be just as shallow as your homecoming dance, filled with judgement, comparison, and gossip. Whose got the latest LuLu tights and who can handstand in the center of the room?”
The yoga world can be just as shallow as your homecoming dance, filled with judgement, comparison, and gossip. Whose got the latest LuLu tights and who can handstand in the center of the room? BUT it doesn't have to be and there are places and instructors that practice unconditional love, acceptance of all, and a strong desire to help YOU love YOU, unconditionally.
I am here to tell you that you don't need to know ANYTHING to practice yoga. In fact, the only expectation that yoga holds, is that you make the effort to let go of your expectations. The most incredible part about it, is that YOU get to decide what it means to you. Annnndddddd, you can change the definition and the meaning of it as you evolve and grow. Now this sounds more like it!
Most of our culture believes that yoga is a number of physical postures that you practice with your physical body. But this is only one very small aspect of yoga. There are 8 limbs, and the physical part of the practice is called Asana, so in actuality it is only 1/8 of a whole system or path to bliss. If your understanding of yoga thus far has only encompassed the physical aspect, that’s great! It’s a start! But there is soooooo much more. And it’s freakin awesome!
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Yoga has changed my life…..
Completely! It has changed my way of being, which is why I am so excited to share it all with you! Don’t stress over knowing more than you already do, just be open to learning, to allowing the the depth of all that is yoga to seep into your being as you are ready. I believe that a fundamental part of yoga is being with what is, honoring what is in this moment. And this is why I believe it is essential to have your own definition of what yoga is to YOU, in this moment, so that you can know if you are honoring that. Yoga creates an awareness for you to begin to see yourself and your ways of being clearly, free of the filters and perceptions that you have become unaware you are seeing through. So it’s like shining a flashlight into all that is unconscious and making it conscious. When you get clear about your definition, you give yourself a backdrop to notice yourself. And of course this backdrop will change as you begin to see yourself, your stories, and your “baggage” a little more clearly. This is why I’m asking you to come up with your very own definition of yoga, free of what you have heard, or what you think it “should” be. What is it to you?
“Yoga creates an awareness for you to begin to see yourself and your ways of being clearly, free of the filters and perceptions that you have become unaware you are seeing through.”
I would like to share with you my definition of yoga, not to influence you, but to give you the understanding of where I am coming from, of what I am trying to honor in my own life and practice. If I would have the honor of your participation in my blogs and videos, I want you to know and feel where I am coming from and what I strive to express to you. I also want you to know that I have thought about all of these things, that what I am saying and doing is coming from a place of whole hearted intention and that I am fully committed to my own growth and evolution into being the highest, me, I can possibly be. I truly believe that the biggest commitment we can offer others, is the commitment to be our highest self. If I can inspire anything through my life and work, it is that you will commit to your highest self.
So what is my current definition of yoga?
(and this is always a work in progress….)
Yoga is arriving, it is waking up whole heartedly to my life. It is showing up to each moment with grace, honesty, compassion, and enthusiasm. Yoga is seeing myself and my ways of being, free of judgment and full of love - it is the consistent cultivation of self realization that will allow me to experience the LOVE that I AM.
Alright, so now it’s your turn…..what is yoga to you?
Get quiet, get clear, and write it down. For real. Write it down. When you get clear, when you become intentional about what you say and what you do and why you do it, your life begins to align. Your thoughts, words, and actions begin to match up, and in turn, this creates less internal dialogue, less struggle, less time spent battling with your own self.
I would looooove to hear from you…..I want to know how you define yoga. Let’s build this movement. And our foundation will lie on our deepest intentions and courage to be vulnerable, to share, and to support each other along the way.
And remember….You are beautiful, you are whole, and you are always, always ENOUGH.
Namaste beautiful yogis.